Microsoft: Privacy improvements in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Marisa Rogers, WDG Privacy Officer, revealed several privacy improvements that are coming to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update on the Windows Experience blog today.
The Fall Creators Update will be released officially on October 17th, 2017. Microsoft plans to roll out it gradually just like it has done with previous Windows 10 updates.
While the roll out happens over the course of months, any user or administrator who wants to install the update early can do so by running a forced update check or downloading update files from Microsoft to apply the update manually.
Microsoft has been under heavy fire from privacy advocates and users ever since it released the first retail version of Windows 10. It changed privacy controls gradually, and revealed the data that it collects of the various telemetry levels this year.
The first privacy related change adds the full privacy statement of Microsoft to the setup process. Windows 10 users may read it before they accept it and proceed with the installation.
While it is fair to say that most users won't read it in full, it does provide important information, for instance on how to do things when Windows is installed.
The second setup change is related to that. Windows 10 displays a privacy page during setup that you may use to control some privacy related features of the operating system. You may disable ad targeting there for instance, or access to your location.
Microsoft added a read more link to each privacy preference that jumps directly to the relevant information of the privacy statement.
The Fall Creators Update comes with additional permission prompts when applications -- those downloaded from Windows Store -- request certain permissions. This is already the case for location permissions, and Microsoft decided to extend this to camera, microphone, contacts and calendar permissions, as well as other unnamed permissions.
The new privacy prompts are only displayed for new applications that are installed from Windows Store. These won't affect the default set of permissions that Windows 10 ships with (for native apps).
You may control access to privacy related features for most applications in the privacy section of the Settings application. Some applications have hardcoded access to permissions however; those cannot be blocked from accessing these functions.
Enterprise customers get a new setting on top of that that "limits diagnostic data to the minimum required for Windows Analytics". Additional information on Windows Analytics can be found on the Microsoft website. It remains to be seen how this looks like on Windows 10 Enterprise systems.
Some of these changes will be made available in future Windows Insider releases.
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